Google said it would plough 3.5 million euros ($5.0 million) into one of Germany’s biggest solar plants, located in Brandenburg, the state surrounding Berlin.
“Until the early 1990s, the site was used as a training ground by the Russian military. We’re glad it has found a new use,” the firm said in a posting on its European Public Policy Blog.
Google said the plant should provide power for 5,000 homes in the area. The investment still needs official approval. It has also invested in wind power projects in the United States.
We’ve been carbon neutral since 2007 and—Earth Day or not—we’re always asking ourselves what we can do to make the world greener today than it was yesterday. This week, we launched a new website with many of the questions we’ve been asking over the years that have inspired our environmental initiatives. What can we do to make renewable energy cheaper than coal? How can we run a data center using 50 percent less energy? And what does it take to green our energy supply?
It’s questions like these that led us to install solar panels on our Mountain View campus in 2007—at the time, the largest corporate solar installation in the U.S. They’re also what made us decide to donate to Googlers’ favorite charities based on how often they self-power their commute, whether by bike or by pogo stick. We hope the new website helps you start asking bold questions that lead to innovative solutions to make the world a greener place.
In addition they’ve doubled down on greening our energy supply with our second power purchase agreement (PPA) in less than a year and made several new investments: at a solar photovoltaic plant in Germany (our first in Europe), and others in the largest wind farm and solar project in the world, bringing our total invested in clean energy to more than $350 million. While the investments won’t supply our operations with energy, we believe they make business sense and will spur development and deployment of compelling clean energy technologies.
The announcement came as the German government wrestles with its future nuclear energy policy in the midst of the nuclear catastrophe in Japan.
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